Backup your devices

Nafisa Akabor Cache This, Latest

Tech admin is often overlooked because it feels like a chore to set up. However, living a digital life means we’re forever accumulating important data in our personal or business lives. Backups that run in the background are therefore recommended should you end up with accidental damage, a stolen device or a corrupt hard drive.

As we head into the festive season – along with an international travel ban to boot – some of us may have more free time than initially planned, making it a good opportunity to tackle those digital backups. 

Here’s how to get started:

 iOS – iPhone and iPad

If you have a fibre connection, switching to the cloud is a no-brainer. Apple’s cloud offering is first prize and despite only offering customers 5GB of free storage, it’s worth paying for additional storage to back up your devices. A 50GB storage plan costs R14.99/pm and a 200GB option costs R44.99/pm.

Using the Family Sharing option allows up to five people to share one plan (e.g. 200GB) with individual iCloud accounts. iCloud lets you choose which apps you want to backup, and you can also view storage by app. For a consistent experience when setting up a new device or restoring from a backup, consider including the following apps: Photos, Messages, WhatsApp, iCloud Keychain (passwords), Mail, Books, Notes, Health, Safari, etc.  

Android phone and tablets

Google offers similar native solutions that are highly recommended. Simply go into your System settings, select “Backup” and choose “Google Backup”. Google provides all users with 15GB of storage for apps, contacts, SMSes, call history and device settings. You can also choose for backups to run automatically (if you have uncapped fibre, turn it on), otherwise, you need to do it manually but frequently enough to not lose data.

Windows PC

If you’re running Windows 10, you have a few options to consider. These include backing up to a network-attached storage drive, to the cloud (e.g. Microsoft’s OneDrive), or an external hard drive. Head to Settings > Update & Security > Backup and choose your option and frequency (like daily or weekly backups), otherwise do it manually. 


MacOS allows you to backup to iCloud using the same credentials on iOS. It also simplifies it in such a way that your desktop can be a ‘cloud desktop’, which is part of your iCloud storage allocation. This means every time you log into a new Macbook, you can see the same data, pulled from the cloud without copying stuff manually via hard drives. This is entirely dependent on how much data you handle. For any graphics-intensive work, backing up to an external drive is recommended.

You also have the option to save data to Microsoft’s OneDrive. Access to Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365) gives you 1TB of storage. If you create a shortcut to OneDrive on Finder, you can drag and drop files into it. This allows your data to be accessed from anywhere, on any device using a single login.

An ongoing solution

If you have the means to do so, rather save to the cloud as often as possible, especially from a work device or laptop. Getting into the habit of doing so every other day means the chances of recovery is higher than never backing up. It only takes one expensive mistake or accident to consider cloud storage – but better late than never. 

Enjoy your break over the festive season, stay safe and remember to insure and backup. Catch you in the new year!

Cache This

Technology is an ever increasing part of our lives and let’s be honest, many of us like gadgets. There is also an abundance of new online services and apps taking over the traditional services we use. Nafisa Akabor has been covering everything tech for well over a decade and she’ll be writing on how we can do tech within a budget and reviewing some of the new online services. Cache This is published on the last Tuesday of every month.

Meet the Just One Lap team at these live events

Subscribe to the Just One Lap weekly newsletter here